Marriage Equality Supporter: “Dear Scalia, YOLO”

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The west facing entrance of the Supreme Court was overrun by marriage-equality supporters during the last hour of oral arguments over the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. By then, most gay marriage opponents had migrated to a counterprotest on the National Mall on the other side of the U.S. Capitol.

As the crowd waited for initial reports from inside the chamber, one activist caught the eyes of several web-savvy marchers and reporters: Andrew Damron, a 27 year old law student at Hofstra University, pictured above, whose sign read, “DEAR SCALIA: Y.O.L.O.”

(YOLO is an acronym, popular with young Internet enthusiasts, that stands for You Only Live Once.)

I asked Damron why he picked that message and whether it was aimed at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a notable gay marriage foe, in particular. 

“I’m just hoping that they’re going to rule on the right side of history,” he said. “There’s obviously a political message but it’s really to the general public and not toward Scalia.”

Damron began fighting for marriage equality a decade ago. The shift in public opinion since then has been so dramatic that despite the unconventional nature of his sign, he didn’t think to explain which side of the argument he supports, or what he meant by “right side of history.”

He explained why. “I think it’s almost self-evident, but I still think it requires some education — some discourse among the public,’ he told me. “Some people probably don’t know what you mean by ‘on the right side of history,’ but I think that just necessitates a little bit of discussion.”

 

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